Lest our editorial silence on the departure of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair as British Prime Minister on these pages points to any attempt to weaken Indo-British camaraderie, here’s a corrective. We love Mr Blair and think he’s sweet and wish him all the best as special envoy to the Middle East (batteries and Iraq not included). And who better to raise a glass to Mr Blair’s tony legacy than George W Bush. In a moving statement printed in the British tabloid, The Sun, Mistah Bush finally clears the air by writing, “I’ve been heard that he’s been called ‘Bush’s poodle’. He’s bigger than that.”
Aides in White House closets maintain that Mr Bush proceeded to add that Mr Blair was actually his rottweiler, but upon discovering that the breed was also a ‘small dog’ opted for the Alsatian. It was only when his posse of speech-cum-letterwriters were going through the final draft that they apparently noticed that their boss had actually meant a Doberman — Tony as his Alsatian may give out the wrong message to the Jewish community, since a connection between Mr Bush as Hitler and Mr Blair as Blondi (Hitler’s favourite German Shepherd) was bound to be made by those against the US-British exercise of building democracy in Iraq.
Mr Blair, of course, was much more than the finest British Prime Minister. As an enterprising man, he was representative of a new Britain that was getting economically, culturally and gastronomically confident. We will all miss Tony Blair. Time to throw away those sunglasses that we needed to wear while seeing the Texan from Edinburgh pitter-patter into the sunset.